All God's critters? Even groundhogs?

Rolf Bouma

June 18, 2013

This makes me so glad I don't keep a vegetable garden, Rolf! It sounds like you and I have something in common, though: we live in areas teeming with wildlife. And while I truly appreciate the humor with which you wrote this, you raise an interesting question for me too.

If I were to garden vegetables, what is my responsibility to the wildlife I see tromping across my lawn on a regular basis? It's not like they would starve if kept from eating my garden's bounty (assuming it has a bounty, that is). As I said, the area is teeming with wildlife and they thrive just fine on the wild plants in the fields behind my house.

So should a garden in their midst be fair game for the wild game? It seems only fair in one sense. After all, I am the one who moved into their neighborhood. Then again, if I am raising the food, it would only be because I worked hard at it. (And hard work it would be, too, since my thumb is so brown it appears sepia toned in all photographs.)

So what do we do when critters come nibbling? Tell them they can glean at the edges of the garden? That would be quite biblical. But when Jesus said that God feeds the birds of the air, I don't think he restricted it to only wild plants.

All of this just reinforces one thing for me. I'm glad I don't garden.


Linda Renninger
June 18, 2013

ummm...God gave us a brain ....people have used their brains to design and manufacture fencing....go purchase and install some....groundhogs can't climb!!! or vault!!
I don't believe in killing animals because they inconvenience us...I killed a mouse that blundered into my house and evaded capture for a couple of nerve- wracking days...it was soul- damaging to me and I will remember that awful feeling for a long time, I guess because of another of God's gifts-- a conscience.

Brian Gregson
January 26, 2014

Rolf, think of it this way. God told us to be "Stewards" of the earth. You are merely following God's instructions and being a good steward to the groundhog. I do not believe however, that this requires you to add other vegetables and a selection of dressings to your "Groundhog salad bar".

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